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Justin Romberg and I went to Max's, near Centennial Olympic Park, to check out their pizza. They boast the only coal-fired pizza oven in Atlanta. If you've ever had pizza from a coal-fired oven, you know the temptation. The high heat of these ovens gives the crust not only crispiness but some natural variation. That hint of crispy burntness every once in awhile is a marvelous texture.

Being a pizza snob, let me be slightly critical. I found this pizza to be good for Atlanta but not up to the standards of the best. (Lombardi's in New York, the first pizzeria in the United States, serves the best pizza I've ever had. Their oven is 100 years old---perhaps that's part of their secret.) The crust was appropriately chewy but seemed slightly assembly line, not artisnal. The toppings were fine but not wow; I wish that I could find some truly excellently spiced sausage in this town.

Don't get me wrong, this pizza is definitely worth eating. It might even be worth the $5 you will pay to park across the street. But don't cancel that trip to New York just yet. Max's Coal Oven Pizza on Urbanspoon


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